A six-year-old St. Petersburg girl who was trapped underwater in a ditch in her family’s minivan has died from her injuries according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). FHP troopers say that the girl and her family were traveling in her family’s Toyota minivan when it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer in rural Osceola County. They report that the family’s van was making a left turn into a driveway when they were struck by the semi. Troopers say that the 29-year-old driver of the truck swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid colliding with the minivan but was unable to avoid the collision. The impact caused the minivan to roll onto its roof, and it came to rest upside-down in the water-filled ditch, trapping the family inside.
Several witnesses stopped to help the family, diving under the water with police and firefighters to extricate family members from the minivan. As family members were removed from the wreckage, they were fitted with neck braces and placed on backboards for transportation to nearby hospitals. Troopers say that the victim, who was strapped into a booster seat, eventually died from being trapped underwater while rescuers attempted to free her. She was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, where attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. Other family members suffered minor injuries and were released from area hospitals after treatment.
It is unclear whether or not troopers are going to file charges against the truck driver. Their investigation is ongoing and will determine whether or not he was following too closely, driving too fast for conditions, distracted by a cell phone or otherwise negligent. If troopers find that he was negligent, he could be liable for wrongful death damages, in addition to many criminal charges.
What is clear is that the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer severe and fatal injuries when struck by semi truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds. Even a glancing blow from a truck can result in catastrophic injuries for anyone in a smaller vehicle, and trucking accident victims need an experienced and effective Orlando trucking accident lawyer to help them receive the damages they need and deserve.
Few Orlando personal injury attorneys have more experience and a better record of success helping trucking accident victims than James O. Cunningham does. For nearly four decades, he has helped injured people receive the fair and just compensation they need to pay medical bills, replace lost income and get compensation for pain and suffering and other damages. If you or a member of your immediate family has been injured in a trucking accident and you have questions about your legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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